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Neuromorphic Artificial Touch Sensors

Neuromorphic Artificial Touch Sensors are a platform composed by an artificial tactile finger equipped with an array of 4 tactile MEMS sensors (MicroTAF), each having 4 output channels, and single board RIO by National Instruments. It encodes not only the normal force but also tangential forces. Data generated from the fingertip can be raw, i.e., the conversion of MEMS outputs, or neuromorphic, i.e., with sequences of neural-like spikes.The artificial tactile finger is available in two versions, one with a thick covering layer emulating the firing behaviour of type II human mechanoreceptors (Ruffini and Pacini), and another with a thin covering layer emulating the firing behaviour of type I mechanoreceptors (Merkel and Meissner).The platform is capable to discriminate between surfaces with different roughness, even between different daily use surfaces (like glass, wood, paper and more).The artificial tactile finger can be mounted on the Azzurra Hand with a proper adapter or any other hand/arm with a simple mechanical interface.

Key features:
  • USB, Ethernet or Wi-Fi communication (depending on the sbRIO used)
  • Variable acquisition frequency (only for raw data)
  • Raw output, neuromorphic output or both
  • Human size finger
  • Light and robust
Possible applications:
  • Human-Robot Interaction
  • Neuroscience and Prosthetics
  • Neuromorphic encoding of tactile interaction
  • Remote tactile sensing

Access information

Corresponding infrastructureSchool of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna
The BioRobotics Institute
LocationViale Rinaldo Piaggio, 34 56025 Pontedera PI, Italy
Unit of accessWorking day

Technical specifications

Power supply (sbRIO):9V@2A (max)
Power supply (finger):5V battery package
Interface:Ethernet, USB, Wi-Fi
Number of channels:16
Maximum measurable force:Up to 5N

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730994


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